The future of medicine: New weapons against cancer
of scalpels and chemotherapy, doctors are increasingly resorting to high-tech
solutions in the fight against cancer: Nano-capsules
and proton radiation are among the most promising
new patented technologies benefitting patients worldwide. The roster of
groundbreaking inventions also includes numerous finalists and winners of the European
The future of healthcare will probably be personal, with therapeutics tailored to a patient's individual genomic profile. Here's a look at the game-changing achievements that paved the way for personalised medicine.
Fighting diseases the personal way
The end of "one size fits all" medicine? From cheap, rapid DNA tests to growing new tissue from a patient's own stem cells, personalised prevention and treatment based on individual genomic data suggest that the key to combating diseases may lie in ourselves.
Robots in the Operating Room
the next level of surgical precision: The Da Vinci surgical robot unlocked
ultra-precise incisions, accurate up to the millimetre. Now a standard in
hospitals across the globe, the robot won its inventors the European Inventor Award in 2008.
Did you know?
the past 15 years, medical technologies have been the leading category among
patent applications to the European Patent Office (EPO).
2012, the EPO received a total of 10 412 patent applications for medical
technologies; 42% from the US
and 38% from Europe.
is leading the pack in Europe with 12% of all medical technology patent
applications, followed by Switzerland,
France and the Netherlands (4%
the 2012 EPO Annual Report
Patents for a medical apparatus or for medical methods?
When Josef Bille won the European Inventor of the Year Award in 2012, it was for inventing a device that revolutionised certain kinds of eye surgery. His invention received a patent from the European Patent Office, despite the fact that medical methods that can be directed to surgery, therapy or diagnosis are not patentable at the European Patent Office. In fact they are explicity excluded from patentability under Article 53 of the European Patent Convention.
Colonoscopy with a “pill camera”
an alternative to costly endoscopic screenings, a pill-shaped camera invented
by Gavriel Iddan from Israel delivers high-resolution images from inside the
Every heart beats to a different rhythm. The dynamic pacemaker developed
by three Dutch inventors can be tailored to suit individual patients.
Photo credit: istockphoto.com/Max Delson Martins Santos
in synthetic biology by Jason Chin and Oliver Rackham enabled the manufacturing
of artificial proteins for medical applications and research.